Amid news that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping back as senior members of the royal family, Kate Middleton and Prince William have another royal couple by their side at an upcoming engagement. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be joined by Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex on Monday, January 20, at a Buckingham Palace reception to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit. William and Kate are hosting the event on behalf of Queen Elizabeth. Princess Anne will also be in attendance. According to HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!, Prince George’s parents will formally receive the heads of state and government, along with their partners, at the reception, followed by a group photo of them with William, Kate, Sophie, Edward, and Princess Anne.
The Cambridges appear to have a close relationship with the Wessexes. It was revealed last year that Sophie is Kate’s secret shopper. The upcoming reception will mark the Duchess of Cambridge’s second public engagement of 2020. Kate and William traveled to Bradford on January 15 to visit several projects that support the community and promote cohesion. The outing came one week after Meghan and Harry shocked the world by announcing their plan to step back from their current royal roles and divide their time between the UK and North America.
Meghan is currently in Canada with her son Archie Harrison, while Harry is still in the UK with meetings reportedly scheduled for next week. On Monday, Queen Elizabeth met with Harry, William and Prince Charles at Sandringham to discuss to the Sussexes’ future.
After the royal summit, the monarch released a statement saying, “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK,” the Queen continued. “These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”